SELF-REFERENCING PROCESSING FOR ADJECTIVESRELATED TO ONE'S PERSON AND EPISODES

Abstract: The self-reference effect is very regular in incidental recall tasks, but it is necessary to examine if this effect holds against controls in an intentional recall task. Processing information about one's self for past episodes and personality traits was investigated with four independent groups of College students. Three groups were given an incidental recall task (episodic, personality and control) and a further group an intentional recall task. All participants (n=109) were required to process a list of 45 visually presented trait adjectives: Processing in experimental groups was related to one's personality or to one's own life episodes, and in control groups, students were simply required to look carefully to each adjective. Results replicated the self-reference effect for the personality, but not for the episodic group, recalling significantly more than the incidental control group. However, when personality was contrasted with the intentional control, the small difference observed lacked statistical significance. Restrictions for previous findings were examined and commented.